Archive for the ‘SIRIUS Home’ Category

SIRIUS Ready RCA Reviewed

Friday, September 1st, 2006
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The SIRIUS Home Connect Receiver was released last month without fan fare. With that said, this could be one of the coolest SIRIUS products to date. This piece allows you to add SIRIUS Satellite Radio to any SIRIUS Ready Home Stereo and control it with the receiver. I decided to give this system a test run.

The RCA system I used is a small bookshelf system that is only slightly larger than a large boombox. The main unit and speakers are separate, so the speakers can be placed apart to improve the stereo image. Each speaker features a separate plastic cone woofer and tweeter. It also features a built in 5 disk cd changer and a removable, portable MP3 player and recorder that will allow you to record from CDs, the Radio and SIRIUS (if set up properly). It also includes a wireless remote and 3 AAA batteries for the remote and MP3 player.

Setting up the RCA is simple for anyone who has connected speakers to a receiver. Next I set up the SIRIUS Home Connect, which was also very simple. It required connecting a single 8 pin cable between the stereo and Home Connect, connecting the SIRIUS antenna, and then plugging it the AC power. The one trick in this setup is that if you only connect the 8 pin cable, you will not be able to record SIRIUS content. You will need to connect either the RCA or optical audio outputs to you recorder. In the case of the RCA unit I tested, you need to connect the audio to the auxiliary inputs to be able to record SIRIUS. This good in the sense that you can record SIRIUS, but you will have to switch to Auxiliary mode in order to record, which means you will not be able to change channels and it will not record the artist info al la the S-50.

As far as performance goes, the RCA looks good and sounds great. It has a number of preset EQ Curves that are set for specific music types (i.e. jazz, rock, pop) and a single level bass boost. I found that the most universal EQ curves were “Rock” or “Flat” (if you want to call Flat a curve…). The other curves were good with there specific genres, but “Flat” and “Rock” really sounded good with most music. The bass boost was overkill for most styles of music besides Hip Hop and R&B were it really added some ommpp to the bass. While listening to rock, jazz or classical it was just to muddy with the bass boost on, but without the boost it sounded great.

The big selling point for the RS2058 besides the SIRIUS Ready feature is the included MP3 Player. The top of the main section of the unit has a cut out with a USB port where the MP3 player rests while docked. The MP3 player can be fully controlled with the remote control. It allows for recording of tracks from CD, FM and Am Radio, and from the a auxiliary input. As I mentioned before, you can record SIRIUS if you have the audio output from the Home Connect Tuner plugged into the AUX input.
The real Beauty of the MP3 player is that it can be removed from the unit and used a portable MP3 player and also has a built in USB connection for transferring files to and from your computer, AWSOME!!!

If you are looking for a home SIRIUS System and a need a new home stereo, I believe we have a winner with the RCA RS2058 and the SIRIUS Home Connect.

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Which antenna should I choose?

Friday, August 25th, 2006
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We carry a lot more SIRIUS antennas than most other stores and are frequently asked, “which is the best deal”? The answer depends on your preferences, but hopefully the description below will be helpful:

We carry Many SIRIUS antennas for the car:

SIRIUS Radio Antenna for $16.99 – this is a cheaper antenna that is functionally the same as the directed electronics one. We buy them in bulk and they come in simpler packaging (a plastic bag with a label).

SIRIUS Dot Micro Antenna for $24.99 – this is a higher gain antenna and, if you are in an area where you get poor reception, will offer you better reception. The Dot Micro is the antena that is shipped with most modern SIRIUS radios, including the S50, the Sportster 4, etc.

SIRIUS Mobile Dot Micro Antenna for $19.99 is functionally the same as the other Dot Micro antenna – it is also a higher-gain antenna and it looks exactly the same – but we buy them in bulk and they ship in simpler packaging.

The Terk SIR-Mini SIRIUS Antenna for Older Receivers for $39.99 uses the old-style plastic FAKRA connector. This antenna is only useful if you have a SIRIUS Radio that is more than 2 years old. Check your existing antenna to see if it has the old-style connector before ordering this product.

The XACT SIRIUS Antenna for $29.99 doesn’t really have any advantages over the other antennas. We don’t usually recommend it, but some people with XAct SIRIUS radios feel more comfortable with an antenna that carries the same brand-name.

We also carry 3 antennas for use in the home:

SIRIUS Home PNP Antenna for $14.99 is the same as the antenna that comes with most SIRIUS home radio systems and the home kits for SIRIUS PNP Radios.

SIRIUS Home Outdoor Antenna for $49.95 is an antenna that plugs into your SIRIUS home system with a coaxial cable (not included), and mounts on the outside of your home. Sometimes people need the outdoor antenna because the construction of their house or the foliage around their house makes it difficult for them to get a strong signal with an antenna inside their house.

We also have 1 antenna that is specifically designed to be used in big trucks called the SIRIUS Truck antenna for $54.95. It can be mounted on a variety of places on a truck including the mirror mount, flap mount, air dam shield mount.

We also have an antenna that is designed to be mounted on boats – the TERK SIR5 SIRIUS Marine Antenna for $69.95.

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Universal Home and Car Kits in Stock

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006
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We received the SUPH1 SIRIUS home kit and the SUPV1 SIRIUS vehicle kits today. Unlike past vehicle and home kits, these kiits will be compatible with most of the SIRIUS radios released in the next year.

The advantages of SIRIUS moving to a more universal docking system can’t be understated. When most of the newer Plug and Play Receivers (Sportster 4 and Newer) are able to use the same docking connection the number of accessories that can be easily produced will increase. Engineering new accessories and parts is limited by the cost to make them when the quantity is lower. This will insure more accessories and options. Many of the newer units will be a similar size allowing for companies to invest more into making carrying cases and such.

The SIRIUS products will become easier for the public to use and understand in the coming months. The S50 which was once more complicated has been nearly perfected with the Recent Firmware Update. The unit continues to sell well at retailers and is well liked by it’s users.

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